Owl nest boxes installed at Bottom Plain (a NESF solar park) allow full 24/7 access into barn owls’ usually elusive behaviour all throughout the nesting season.
Since 2020, NESF annually enhances 15 of its UK solar farms with additional biodiversity measures under a Universal Biodiversity Management Plan (UBMP). These measures include wildflower meadows, bug hotels, bird and bat boxes, hibernacula and nectar-rich shrub planting and have been selected to provide maximum biodiversity uplift across a wide range of taxa at scale.
In addition to the UBMP programme, NESF also supports a range of nature research and conservation initiatives. In collaboration with Wildlife Windows, two owl boxes at Bottom Plain Solar farm, Dorset, were fitted with cameras. Powered by solar panels, the cameras provide a live stream via a 4G broadband connection, in the hope to record any nesting activity. In 2023, we have seen the successful uptake of a nest box by a breeding pair of barn owl Tyto alba, showing that our sites provide suitable habitat for this keystone species. NESF will continue to monitor activity throughout the breeding season to ensure that our sites adopt appropriate nature-positive management and design solutions to support the Global Biodiversity Framework in the recovery and conservation of species.
The East nest box currently houses two of barn owls in the process of breeding (they bred in this same box last year). There was an initial battle with jackdaws, but the barn owls appear to have won this box and the jackdaws are now occupying the West box.
Both nest box cameras are streaming to YouTube Live via Wildlife Windows’ YouTube channel, you can find the links to both below:
As the season unfolds, we hope to see the barn owls (and jackdaws) raise young and fledge successfully. As is with wildlife, anything can happen, so we wish them the best!
Please note this is a live and unedited stream of a barn owl webcam located in rural Dorset. Occasionally you might see disturbing images of the natural world. Our policy is to allow nature to play out without disruption or interference. Barn owls are specially protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.